We stayed at Nikau Lodge for three nights and had the most wonderful time chatting with our hosts (Jane and Quentin), enjoying the fantastic views of Kaikoura bay and the magnificent mountains from our room window, and indulging ourselves every morning with fabulous homemade breakfasts, prepared fresh every morning by Jane and Quentin. What else could one ask for on a short holiday? That’s what we thought, and we were completely over the moon. However, that was just the part of an unforgettable weekend . . .
Nikau Lodge is a beautiful character home with all modern amenities. The lodge commands the most beautiful view of the blue crescent bay and the surrounding mountains, and from your room’s private sitting area with bay window, you can see the foaming waves rolling in. With all the serene nature, we were pleasantly surprised that Nikau Lodge is only a 10-minute stroll to Kaikoura town centre, where you can experience fabulous cafes and restaurants of all budgets. Nikau Lodge rooms are named after sea creatures, and all the rooms upstairs have large bay windows in the sitting area, where you can opt to have your breakfast served in the morning. This is, of course, if you prefer privacy during breakfast. However, we did not want to miss the cosy atmosphere in the main dining room, where we met very interesting guests who came from all over the world, and most of all, we would have missed our morning chats with our charming hosts. Jane and Quentin were always warm and cheerful, and have a great sense of humour (equally charming was their terrier named Jack, who quietly kept bringing his deflated basketball to the dining room just in case one of the guests would be up for a game). Jane and Quentin go out of their way to pamper their guests – from a fridge full of complimentary wines and beer outside of your room to the different choices of gourmet dishes for breakfast (savoury egg Benedict with fresh free range eggs and Jane’s special Hollandaise sauce, Jane’s famous French omelette, which we missed, since we couldn’t resist the fabulous French toasts with caramelized banana and maple syrup. Finally, Quentin’s big but very gourmet Kiwi breakfast that came with free range eggs, gourmet sausages, and rosti potato cake with garden herbs). Our hosts were so generous with the breakfasts that they even offered side dishes, such as: butter braised tomatoes and pan fried mushroom (as if you need more food to survive the Kaikoura walking tracks). While waiting for the hot breakfast, we also warmed up our morning appetite with the healthy continental breakfast, which included muesli, fresh fruits, fruit preserves, and fresh yoghurt (again, with optional side dish of sliced ham and cheese). When we complimented Jane and Quentin of the breakfast, they even generously shared the recipes! After breakfast, our hosts always made sure that we will have a nice day exploring Kaikoura, and since Jane and Quentin are truly Kaikoura locals, they gave us great tips that you won’t find in travel books. They even made our dinner reservation to make sure we could get in to a very busy restaurant – undoubtedly because of their connection. Also, if guests want to take a break from exploring the outdoors, they can relax in Nikau Lodge’s lovely garden, on the lounge chairs by the small pond, or even in the hot tub by the veranda.
We left Nikau Lodge with a full stomach and a warm heart, as if we just had a great visit to our own family. After this trip, when we hear or read about Kaikoura, we will feel that deep connection to the beautiful town of mountains and sea, and to the lovely people who generously welcomed us as friends.
Other Kaikoura highlights:
- Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway (magnificent scenery at pretty easy fitness level -- Must do!)
- Maxtons restaurant (gorgeous view, romantic atmosphere, out of this world venison, and terrific hosts – Book early!)
- Nin's Bin (ultimate casual alfresco dining by the sea with fresh lobster/cray fish. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of wine for maximum enjoyment!)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated 10 minutes walk from Kaikoura's main town centre, Nikau Lodge has magnificent views of the Kaikoura Mountain Range and the Ocean. Come relax in the lounge, unwind in the garden or just come for a good nights rest. Continental and Full Cooked Breakfast using fresh local produce is served to you in the morning. ... more less
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